Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays One and All!

Well, it’s just a little over a day before Xmas and I can safely say all my shopping is done, my wrapping done and my presents to the family are under the tree. That leaves just the big family meal on Thursday. Tomorrow is crunch day. I’ll make stuffing, bake pies, and get my game plan ready right down to the tiniest detail. I even have the ingredients all set aside for gorilla bread on Christmas morning once we open presents.

This year is a tad bittersweet. My 23 yr. old son is home on leave from the Army. As soon as he goes back January 3rd, they will start Deployment Training. He is headed to Iraq in June 2009 unless they are pulled for Afghanistan earlier. Trust me; this is not something a mother wants to hear right before the holidays. But I have known about it since August and it doesn’t make it any easier. My hat and heart go out to all the families with children in the military. My son hasn’t even left yet and I’m a basket case. I know he can’t come back home before then, and I hope I am going to be able to get to his base before he deploys to say goodbye.

Where did my little boy go? My youngest that had the sweetest brown eyes, brown hair and the most adorable belly laugh. The eyes are still brown, the hair has been shaved per to military regulations, and the laugh is more mature. Now instead of mothers say what an adorable boy he is, its teenage girls and older admiring his ‘baby browns.” (G) And that’s the last thing a mother wants to know. What can I say, he’s my baby boy!

So, this year we’ll celebrate and rejoice that the immediate family is all together. My 25 yr. old daughter lives less than 20 miles away and she will be here with her fiancĂ© to celebrate. The rest of the family will be over in the afternoon, though there really aren’t too many left. My grandparents are in their late 80’s, my mother and stepfather don’t drive down from northern Michigan because of weather and other issues, my sister and her family live on the other side of town and have their own traditions to deal with. But we will see my aunt and uncle who live about 15 minutes away and they will bring my grandparents along with them for the afternoon. So with limited relatives to celebrate, this means more turkey leftovers for me.

I envy those with big boisterous families and wish mine were more like that. But we can’t always have what we wish for. Yet there are things we can wish for and receive. A son proud to serve his country in what ever way they need him. A daughter still willing to go out with her parents and laugh hysterically as they make fools of themselves. A husband willing to put up with his wife’s ‘menopause mood swings” and a wife wiling to put up with the every Sunday and all the time sports habit of her husband. (Hubby, son, daughter, future son-in-law are out tonight watching the Detroit Pistons as I type this.)

So to each and every one of you out there, enjoy your family, enjoy your holiday meal and most of all, Happy New Year!